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Andrew Long - January 7 '04- 11:49 Eastern Standard Time

I HAVE INDEED BEEN WATCHING THE PRICE IS RIGHT, all oblivious to the fact that I should be posting a column, perhaps even post-haste. My reluctance to do so, however, stems chiefly from the fact that my room, having tired of a summer's worth of sauna-like temperatures, has now reverted to its customary meat-locker chill. Duty, however, is a stern mistress, and so, wrapped in a sleeping bag I stole from my roommate, I press on, pretending that I don't feel like doing this for no apparent reason.

The truth of the matter is, I do want to write this column, and as long as it's finished in time for Law & Order, my newfound daytime television addiction can continue to feed on anything that doesn't involve soap and its operas and we can live in harmony and all that jazz. And so on.



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I guess a third set of answers can't hurt

This was put in Goog's column today, and I can answer his questions. However, it may be a bit too spoilerish.

As the resident Final Fantasy X fanboy for the staff, I think I can answer the Mega Multiparter from Dahne.

1. What's this thing the Guado did that made everybody so mad at them? All I remember is Seymour trying to marry Yuna, and that doesn't seem like something worth ostracizing a whole damn race over.

Answer: Well, there were a few things. Like before the Gagazet fight, he killed some Ronso. Then there's the whole wanting to destroy everything kick he was on. Seymour fooled the world of Spira as a Maester, I don't think they exactly like being made fools of.

2. Come to think of it, just what makes Guado different from humans, anyway? Besides the perpetual bad hair days.

Answer: Well, their height is the first. They are slightly taller than the humans but shorter than the Ronso. Also, the face "veins" are a Guado trait. Finally, the length of their arms.

3. What are the pyreflies, and what is their purpose?

Answer: The pyreflies are the spirits of the dead preserved. When someone dies, they either harbor anger or forgiveness. A pyrefly is basically their soul, and if a pyrefly is angry, hurt, and resentful...or unsent by a summoner, they become a fiend.

Basically, they serve the purpose of the farplane visits, and they are a major plot point in Final Fantasy X-2. Also as monsters and summons.

4. What was the whole deal with Yu Yevon? If he's the basis of their whole religeon, you'd think there'd be more of a fuss over him being a black blob in the middle of Sin. Wakka didn't seem to notice.

Answer: This requires a brief Spira history lesson. At 0 (the day of Sin) Bevelle and Zanarkand were at war. Bevelle, the more technological of the societies, was trying to destroy the old beliefs of the summoners of Zanarkand. When Bevelle attacked Zanarkand the last time, they managed to take Zanarkand while survivors ran to the hills of Gagazet with their ruler, Yevon. His daughter, Yunalesca, fled to Bevelle with her husband Zion.

Upon reaching Bevelle they hear of Yevon's apparant death on the hills of Gagazet. What they don't know is that Yevon, to fight off Bevelle, cast a huge gravity spell which drew together angry souls. Hundreds of thousands of pyreflies formed into one solid apparition, which was Sin. Yevon then probably killed those on the summit and turned them into fayth to "dream" Zanarkand. Yevon, due to his hate for Bevelle and knowing he would have to continuously summon Sin, did not join the fayth but he became a fiend.

In Bevelle, Yunalesca made a pact with Bevelle for peace, possibly under the guise the monster Sin was a summon. Yunalesca ordered the formation of the religion of Yevon in honor of her father. Not much later, she took the first pilgrammage to destroy Sin. The fayth of Zanarkand was destroyed in the Bevelle raid, so she sacrificed her husband, Zion for every summon gains strength based on the connection with the summoner.

Yunalesca melted the outside of Sin, but Yevon took control of Zion and killed Yunalesca, who remained as a fiend probably out of remourse for the actions. No one knew of what happened, so everyone assumed the calm that followed was the way to defeat Sin, thus the pilgrammage was instituted.

I don't think, in-game, anyone really made the tie of Yevon and Yu Yevon. They didn't realize the pathetic black blob was really the God they worshipped for so long. They just knew Yu Yevon was the one controlling Sin, possibly. Yu Yevon is the curse of Yevon, literally, in Japanese.

6. Sin's gone in X-2, so why are there still monsters around?

Answer: Pyreflies are the cause of monsters, not Sin. Sin is a fiend just like the blobs you fight on the way to Sin. As long as souls remain unsent they can become fiends. It's reasonable to assume after Sin died no one realized this and sendings stopped. Bosses are still there because death will always happen. Souls will remain unburied, and they will grow angry. The more angry, the bigger the monster and the more the hurt.

8. I know I saw Yoshitaka Amano's name flash by in X-2's credits. What part of the game did he work on?

Amano did some artwork of the characters that was never really seen unless you actually looked for it.

- Jeff Walker
Fan Art Guy

Thanks for sharing, Jeff. Admittedly, some of my answers were incomplete, so hopefully this will set dear Dahne's mind at ease. It better, since there isn't a third Q&A host for her to send this to.

Correctitude be with you

Hey Andrew,

Well, I'm at my aunts and I have to leave, but I went on RPGamer and saw a new quote, blah blah blah Julius, lets dance or something like that. And I haven't played Sword of Mana yet, but I'm guessing that's where the quote is from because every quote comes from a new game, and Julius is on Seiken Densetsu, and I'm sure theyre not going to change his name to something stupid like when they did Frionel, but, yeah, it's a guess, and I'm pretty sure I'm right.

-andrew- -kupomogli-

You are indeed right, and assuming Google has not yet awarded a tilde for this particular quote, you can have this one: ~

Now that's devotion!

Hello, fellow Canadian.

I would have to say that my favorite game of the year has to be Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. For some reason I just knew this game was going to be great such that when all the EB's in Quebec were sold out, I decided to drive down to New York in order to have it two days earlier than when other companies were getting it. (The American border guard thought I was nuts and he searched my car). The trip was well worth it and it ties my record for most played game with FFT at 300 hours.

As for a question, I could ask something boring such as what was your fave RPG of 2003 but I'll make it more interesting and ask what was your favorite RPG of Spring 1997?


My favorite RPG of Spring 1997 would have to be Final Fantasy VI, because I still didn't have a PSX at that point, and happily played and replayed FFVI, with an occasional dose of SoM or Ultima VIII. Yes, I used to be (and still am) easily amused, which wouldn't be all that bad except for the times it involves watching ice melt or grass grow.

More New Year's tales

Happy New Year Castomel!

Alas, my New Year's Eve had nothing to do with either burning anything down or playing RPGs, nor has it ever. It did have to do with playing cards with some nice folks and drinking one too many margaritas and feeling pretty lousy most of New Year's day itself, so it's all good, I guess.

The Zelda compilation disc, and my first issue of Nintendo Power came in fairly swift succession over the last couple weeks. NP's okay. I like how they cover relatively few games but devote several pages to them. Then again the "review" section's a complete waste of time, and there's this underlying distrust of the staff's neutrality regarding, well, just about anything.

Yes, one thing you can count on with Nintendo Power is no pretense of impartiality in any area of the magazine. It exists to sell stuff, and since this scheme has been running strong since the mid-80s, there's no point in stopping now, now is there?

The compilation disc is, hmm, I'll say 80/20. I tried to play the NES games, and am sorry to say my appreciation for games seems not to extend beyond the 16-bit era--a side effect of not having become "a gamer" until '97 or so, perhaps. But Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, now those are great. I've basked in each for several hours now, and love 'em both.

Well, you ARE a Philistine for not enjoying the Adventures of Link, but I suppose I can handle that. I do, after all, like it primarily because of sweet, sweet nostalgia.

My vote for RPG of 2003 is Dark Cloud 2! The story and characters are enjoyable, the graphics are good, it has lots of action and variety, and the Georamas own all! The difficulty is generally low, but there are some optional challenges you can take (like the monster/boss scoops) that boost the difficulty level a bit. Like many other longer "modern day" RPGs, you can plumb it to its depths playing all the mini-games, or just blow through. Parts of it got repetitive though...all that dungeon crawling...then again I've never played a game for over 80 hours without it dragging a bit.

I can remember feeling a great sense of satisfaction in completing DC2, and even got a little misty when I saw the ending movie. That's the kind of thing that makes for good gaming memories. And I had a lot of fun with it along the way! That's why it gets my vote for 2003, with FFTA in second place.

So, what game gets your vote? :) Beth.

Not FFTA, that's for sure, but I will once again go on record as saying that my favorite game of 2003 was Breath of Fire V, followed closely by Disgaea. Also, there might just have been some Final Fantasy VI mixed in there. Those FFA reviews don't write themselves, after all.

As to the detailed reasoning behind my selection, I chose BoF V because of its innovative storytelling method and actual challenging gameplay. It is refreshing to see both a game that you can't beat with no effort at all and a means of revealing plot details that ensures that gamers will want to play through more than once. On top of that, the artistic design and music were both very well done.

Moving right along...


The lurid moon dost beckon me.. Mmmmm..moon pies. Speaking of such nonsence. Is Thursday the day?? I mean, if so, then YEEEAAAAHH!! Off course! If not...then there's always Friday.. Enough about that. Let's move on to the "meat and potatoes" of this letter. Suprising how that statement would've made me incredibly hungry if I hadn't already eaten. Delicious, delicous babies. Back on topic. Favorite game of '03? Since the only new game I got in '03 was only FFX-2...I'd say that was great. A late release, but incredibly addicting and fun. Sadly, there's no Dragoon dressphere, so that's my only complaint. Onto the "other" facts of other games that I had the whole year to play I'd say FFX. December 27ish, 2002. Yes, the story line was excellent and such worthy of a year's worth of playing and pineing over. Maybe when I actually have a job I'll be able to buy more shiny games. On the subject of money... Loonys are now increasing in value while the American dollar is sadly losing. That's right kiddies, go out there and buy all the pretty boxes of Bible Adventures that have been shoved deep into the hot, hot oven. While you're there...can ya find my laser blasting gun of blasting? I've been missing that since back in '88. Ah, damn it to bloody hell. Those toads haven't been made into cookies in a while.

Imagine this as a fancy shmancy concluding quote,

O' Shrouded One

Of all the things I could buy in Buffalo or its many bizarrely named suburbs, I think the last would be Bible Adventures. Now assault rifles? With a 78 cent dollar I can become Rambo for cheaper than any time since I turned 12, when I was a mere Young John Rambo, drawing pictures with magic markers.

Clarified muddledness

In your last Unfit for Print, someone asked this:

"Hi, I just recently purchased Final Fantasy XI for my computer. The only thing I need to know is, how much do they charge in order for the user to play? "

And you said, " if you're really curious you can either go to the store and look at the back of the box, or alternately..."

Did anyone else catch the true irony in the fact that if he just BOUGHT the game, he has the box sitting in front of him right now, and thus does not need to actually go to the store to find his answer? Or are we just assuming that some people really are that dumb?

I've lost hope in humanity.


P.S. Setting up kupomogli's Live Journal was the greatest humanitarian event in the history of the world. I bestow upon you the Nobel Peace Tilde: ~

See, this is why teachers always said I didn't pay attention to instructions. It's skimming over little details like "I recently purchased" that make some of my answers seem like they're to entirely different questions. Nonetheless, having now had this pointed out for me, I feel all the more confident for having not answered that question, because it definitely says how much it costs, if not in the manual then certainly while you set up the program.

P.S. Noble Peace Tildes are all well and good, but do they come with a considerable cash prize? Because I could really use a considerable cash prize.

Disgaea gets a nod

My vote for best game of 2003 would probably have to go to Disgaea. Though, BoF5 and Xenosaga Episode 1 definitely deserve honorable mentions. Disgaea overall had the most interesting plotline. Not only was it intriguing but it was also highly amusing. I'd played it for 6 or 7 hours straight just to see what crazy crap they'd pull in the next level. Added to that was the great battle system. -- Kalledon --

I will admit that now that I'm past the first three hours of Xenosaga it's picking up a little, but that game still has some serious pacing issues at the outset, making me wonder how games marketed to kids with reputedly low attention spans can possibly have an introduction that drawn-out. Then again, my attention span can be fearfully gnatlike at times, so I suppose if I can make it through, anyone can.

TOO fit for print

"Have you got any idea as to why Terranigma wasn't released in North America?"

The game was fully translated and ready for US release when Enix's North American branch folded. This translation was used for the European release.

Yikes! And here I was thinking Square was involved in that game. Perhaps it's because a translation group my friend worked with and then grew hateful towards used Chrono Trigger's font set when translating Terranigma. Either way, you know too much to live. Please step into this booth and select "broil". While it may seem otherwise, that, I must assure you, is in fact the most painless option on the menu.

Xbox in the house

I finally got an Xbox for Christmas, along with SSX 3. This is an excellent game, and should keep me busy for maybe just a month or two longer. Now, what I want to ask you for, is a good game for the Xbox that you might recommend. I want a good RPG/RTS/FPS game. Something thats long, and a good ending. A nice action/adventure. Now, I've looked and I'm not sure what I want or is what I'm looking for. I don't want to spend these next months looking, and I know you know alot of games, so can you give me a good game(/s?) for my Xbox that would make me happy?

While games isn't possible yet, I can recommend KotOR to you, since the PC version seems to have rocked the socks of gamers everywhere. Also, it's got lightsabres, and you can't go wrong with lightsabres.

how do you break the gaint blocks
in mistic forest? Do you have any code sheets to this game?

Thank you, Metrius

I knew I had a UfP kicking around somewhere... To you, Metrius, I personally do not have a code sheet, and at risk of sounding like a bad Fred Savage comedy monologue spectacular, I don't think they called it Mystic Forest. There's a Stench Forest and an Ancient Forest and a Delusion Forest, but we had to end up in Mystic Forest. Now, cue a wolf howling so I can say "Great." and make all the kiddies fall over laughing.

Cue Ominous Silence©

Lousy special effects team...Anyhow, you're just going to have to figure it out for yourself, because if I don't know what forest you're talking about, I can't very well help you, now can I?


Well then. I really need to start earlier tomorrow, because not only did this drag on way too long, but I have about six hours of class spread across ten hours, so actually getting any column done will be a fine feat indeed. For tomorrow, seeing as how I'm fresh out of ideas, just send in whatever you want. I might even print everything, unless I decide to adhere to those posting guidelines I set that I never adhere to. Yes, it's great being me, except for the bed, window that keeps out no heat, and the missing leg and arm.

Oh, and hurrah. My email works again, so we can go back to half of your letters being eaten by spam filters. To prevent this, I suggest actually titling them something, like "Q&A" or a descriptive title that I can use instead of thinking up one of the lousy ones that I always use.
Andrew Long can still type 90 WPM.



Okay, so maybe I have two arms. So what if I do?

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