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Whatever Blows Your Hair Back!

Andrew Long - March 14 '04- 17:37 Eastern Standard Time

SO RIGHT ABOUT NOW IS WHEN I SAID "Oh, well... Random crap it is." I've been racking my brains, but they're remarkably resistant to torture, and I think the hippocampus and frontal lobe are plotting against me, so I'd better talk in code. Hmm... Actually, that seems pretty unfeasible, so I guess I'll just keep talking and NOW!

Okay, maybe I shouldn't have done that...Here's some letters while I uhh.. make repairs. Ugh, this is going to take forever to type with only one hand.



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I'll be the waterwings
That save you if you start drowning
The Leafs could have used a pair of those
I'll be the photograph
That plays your favorite albums back
Mostly, I'll just steal lyrics and put them here

Barker's Bevy of Beauties buy boat!

Hey Casty,

I've only written once before, but you just struck a chord in my heart with the mention of price is right. This year I moved back from being a hippy living on vancouver Island (the hippiest place on earth), to take care of my grandma who is in failing health. And let me tell you, that Bob Barker gets her blood pumping like...well...some sort of excellent pumping machine. I dunno. Think pacemaker, but more exciting. This also coincided with my having discovered your column, so needless to say, these two things have been a daily part of my life for months now, and I personnally find you more charming than Mr. Barker, and almost as flashy as Rod Roddy.

Dang... All this flattery makes me wish I had a beautiful Hooker kitchen set to give you, but alas, I fear my schemes to eventually become a game show announcer have yet to come to fruition. More importantly, sorry to hear about your grandmother, dude. I hope she recovers, but in the meantime, you should write Bob Barker and get him to sponsor a 24/7 The Price is Right station, cuz, well, there aren't enough Wilfrid Brimley diabetes product commercials in this world to sate my appetite. And of course, for your grandma's sake...

Incidentally, funny you should mention Vancouver Island, cuz my sister just took up residence there, having run away to the west coast with a hippy of some description. Well, I'm sure they'd balk at being called that, but what else can you possibly call vegetarians who sleep in trees, smoke many drugs, and produce many artses? So yeah, Isaac Newton would approve (1 in, 1 out).

Anyway, sorry about the rambling, but the main reason I'm writing is to share my excitment about the new He-Man game being released for gamecube. I know it's not an RPG, but it's going to have some elements along those lines that should make it a bit stronger than the average platformer (plus you get to fight on battlecat...ZANG!). But that brings me to a question for you... if you could have one classic cartoon made into an RPG, what would you go with? I think I'd have to do Thundercats, if only for the kick-ass theme song and early FF ability specialization.

Does that sentance even make sense?

Take it easy and don't be sleazy,

Of course it makes sense, especially the Thundercats part. I can't think of a more deserving cartoon, especially since Thundercats was the first real cartoon I watched regularly (sorry, Dr. Snuggles, you're a little too lame and British) and the nostalgia alone would keep me ensorcelled through at least twenty hours of gameplay. Beyond that, there's a wide variety of backup characters that could accompany Liono on his quest, right down to those twins who could pull off a killer Palom and Porom imitation if you put them in robes instead of those dopey tiger pajamas.

Semantics... My favorite! Goes well with sophistry

Hey Cast,

So, I'm reading along in your column and seeing the stir that Mr. Greder has created with his musical opinions, when I come across this here letter by Chris R.. And he's going along nicely, making some good points--and then he says, "So of course, this begs the question: what is YOUR favorite/least favorite soundtrack(s)?" and I cringe, for this is not, technically, a correct use of the expression "to beg the question."

The expression refers to a category of logical fallacy in which one assumes what one sets out to prove. For instance, if I argue that lying is wrong because we ought always to tell the truth, my argument begs the question. There's a very informative article (from which I stole my example) here.

I do think it's unfortunate that the phrase has taken on this common meaning of prompting or raising a question, because 1) it's a very useful phrase in discussing people's logical arguments, and 2) it makes me feel smart to use it. I'm just being honest here. And no, I'm not one of those people who gets on your case if you end a sentence with a preposition or split an infinitive. Ack! This letter has nothing to do with RPG's! I'm doomed!

-Jackson Ferrell

If you knew you were doomed and left me nothing else other than to curse your name for being a pompous ass, why did you go through with it? I mean, I could be sympathetic, but since the article you pointed out doesn't quite get around to saying what i'm about to, I'm afraid you're knackered. To cases, then: bad Latin translations notwithstanding, "begging the question" is, in my view, a perfectly valid statement, for two reasons. First, it is grammatically sound - if beg does indeed mean "humbly submit" then what is so galling about humbly submitting a question? Granted, it has nothing to do with logical fallacy or any of the other delightful intricacies of logical construction, but then again, neither does this column, and besides, it's much more polite than demanding a question. Secondly, usage is nine-tenths of the law, and it has come to mean what it does, however noble its origins were. Sorry to bust your bubble, but language only exists insofar as it is an agreed upon means of exchanging information between people, and since the accepted meaning of "begs the question" is as it is, highfalutin' it up in this instance is pretty useless, so maybe all you logic zombies should just jump to that other term the article suggested and admit defeat.

Also, please don't cringe. That term makes me want to kill.

Wonder if he liked Little Nicky too...

Hey, Cast. I'd have to say my favorite thing about The Price Is Right (even if not related DIRECTLY to the game show) is when Bob got beat up by Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore, though it was clearly a stunt double. =D <--- the smile on my face.

Thanks for sharing, Shase.

Appalling honorifics?

Hey, there
Seeing how I really stirred this forum up I felt the need to clear things up a bit. The signature Colonel Skills had fully mistaken the message I was trying to give. He tried insult me with personal abuse in his letter. Of course it's a matter of taste but it is also matter of closemindedness ( which the colonel pointed out). But I saw it as a matter of closemindedness from your side. Do you not wish anything else than video games and things associated with for entertainment? When you've just finished Final Fantasy whatsitnow for the umptieth time, do you really wish to sit down and listen to the soundtrack to remember all of your good times? I don't hate video game music. I never said that. I actually quite enjoy those romantic, epic pieces by the japanese guys whom you all seem to be on a first name basis with. But I enjoy them in the context of video game, as a catalyst to the events happening on screen. The same way I enjoy movie soundtracks. I hope this clears things up a bit. I do however detest j-pop. I don't mind it existing but I do mind it existing in my video games. It has never made the experience more enjoyable to me.

Now see, if you'd actually said that on Friday, I wouldn't have milked your letter for the whole weekend, but I do think I'd still disagree with you, since I still enjoy listening to tracks from FFVI. I remain united with you, incidentally, in your hatred of J-pop, which melts my brain, and I certainly don't mean to suggest that you have no right to dislike video-game music. I too enjoy a wide variety of non-video game music, and have been to concerts, clubs, and raves in pursuit of that music.

And now: the question.
So, uh... er...hmmm. Oh yeah! What's the latest on shadow hearts 2 and do you know any place on the web where you can buy shadow hearts (1)? Preferably Pay pal compatible.

So you want me to recommend eBay? I didn't think there was anyone left who hadn't heard of it, especially considering the whored-out advertising all over the internet (and on TV).

Mr. Greder

It's funny being called mister when you're only eighteen. Interesting how you english speaking always want to be polite to the ones you're trashing. "Mr Greder, ín my point of view you resemble a rather large pile of odorous, half digested live stock fecies."

Until next time.

I meant no disrespect calling you mister... it sounds a lot nicer than just "Greder", and Carl is a little unspecific when I'm commenting in other people's letters, while saying your whole name sounds kinda dopey. Sorry if it seemed that way.

A venerable query or two

Hooray, a free day, that means I can finally send my letter where I whine and complain about something near and dear to everyone's heart. And that something is...oh crap...I don't really have a complaint like that.

I had a question for you and any readers out there. Perhaps it can generate an answer. In FFVI if you stay at certain Inns with Shadow in your party, he has some dreams. It would appear from those dreams that they are suggesting that Shadow may be Realm's father or something like that. Am I on crack or is this the basic idea? Can anyone suggest a good faq or walkthrough that gives you a list of how to get all of his dreams? I got a few, but I don't know if I had them all.

Any FAQ should do, and besides, you've already figured out that relationship, leading me to believe you've already seen them all.

Also, I have enough money to buy one game. Should I get Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, or Champions of Norrath? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Well, I'll be able to give you a balanced outlook in the next week or so when I get my review copy (and then pretend like the game hasn't come out yet), but for the time being, if you've got enough friends with GBAs, get FF:CC - I've played it, and I'm pretty sure that in some alternate universe where all hail me as their terrifying doom leader, everyone wants to play the games I play, so you'd best stay prepared in case you suddenly end up there.

His singing brings me fear

::Poofs from nothingness, singing::

Casty casty ya ya ya...

Item the First: So you finally tried unlimited Saga? Just hearing about it brought back painful memories. I mean, what fun is an RPG when it's not only incoherent, but you can't even friggin LEVEL UP or even SAVE until you get through a dungeon? True, the same goes for Crystal Chronicles, but at least then you had friends to help you, and there game was SO much less linear. What's your take on the two in comparison?

Well, now that you mention it, they are kind of similar, and I can't really say which I like better at this point, cuz FF:CC has its weaknesses and I just haven't played through USaGa yet. I'm leaning towards USaGa, to be honest, but further suckitude could cast the outcome into doubt.

Item the Second: Planning on getting FFXI for the PS2, never got it for PC because, well, my PC's a POS. Anywheres, I realise the basic classes you choose from in the beginning are the ones from FF the first, so I was thinking about what type of character I should be. I'm leaning towards a white mage, since everyone LOVES a healer in their party, and maybe becoming a summoner later. Your thoughts on this? Warnings?

White Mages are universally loved, and summoners can summon Carbuncle, who is blue and bouncy and generally freaks me out when I see it scampering through the fields of Sarutabaruta. Being a mage will also get you into any party, so that's not a bad idea.

Item the Third: Regarding those comments regarding video game music, I have to agree that said genre of music is becoming increasingly popular. I also agree that it has also changed from the 8-bit days of old, taking on the characteristics of the pop generation. Arguing about this direction in music is like arguing, "Which is better, the playstation Final Fantasys or the SNES ones?", and can likewise have varying answers pending on whom you ask. Pointless, really. Besides, not all games go the pop route- plenty, such as the aforementioned Unlimited Saga, use lovely orchestral music.

To conclude, Yuna's opinion on the whole pop music thing:
"I don't like your plan. It sucks."
Yes, I stole that quote from FFX-2. One of the best things Yuna's ever said, really. If you've played it, you know what I'm talking about.

I haven't. Thanks a lot, Spoily McGee.

I already used a quote. Now go away.

As you wi- HEY! Only I get to do that!

The Price is Wr - I don't like where this is heading


By CAR, you do really mean life-time supply of toilet seats, and by BRAZIL you mean dark side of this beautiful, wasp-infested cave, right? All you have to do is match 2 prices in our shocase, and you could win a free spade or neuter coupon for a wonderful operaton by Bob Barker and his blond nurses. On the other important matters at hand. In a recent hidden interview that will be started soon, I found out that the truth to the matter is that "randomopium" is a gold mine of a sales pitch. I should copyright it, so that whenever it's said I'll recieve delicious amounts of shineys in my pocket. I'll be the most powerful man evar!! Or, I could be lying in a failed attempt to say that I have no topic for today. I bought some pastels and shading pencils the other day, so maybe when I have enough energy, I'll get around to finishing my pictures. Now my "friend" Katie wanted me to draw her a picture of a gold. retriever and a black lab. I agreed, and told her to give me some time. This was 2 weeks ago and I still haven't started the damn thing. Now there's more to this lovely story but I'll spare you most of it. In the end, now she wants a black and white one, and a color one. :p Why don't people understand that procrastination is a way of life?? Can't they just accept us for who we are? Mehhhh..

To have and to have all,

O' Shrouded One

Uh, oh. Art by commission is a bad scene, man. The only times I've ever tried it I had to rush, and the results were predictably terrible. Take my advice and start now, or you'll regret it, or at least, your friend will.

Unfit for Print

What is a rpg? My friends kepp telling me thier the best type of game and i have no idea what they are so can you please tell me thanks

Forgive me if I find this highly disingenuous, but if this site doesn't immediately tip you off, then there may be no hope for you. Nevertheless, RPGs, or Role Playing Games, are games in which you assume the role of a character and kick ass. They generally feature some sort of character building and exploration.



Well, by any measure, that was a successful open topic day, featuring a record amount of Bob Barker-related material to boot! For next weekend, we shall discuss Harvest Moon, and you shall attempt to convince me, a Harvest Moon-avoiding ninja, to kidnap Harvest Moon until someone gives me an Andy Warhol original. Or we can talk GDC, which is also coming up soon. For now, however, I must scurry to the end, because Googleshng is going to lock me in a cage and submit me to hamster torture if I don't get this up triple-time. Until Friday, then, may all your mishaps be creamsicle-related!
Andrew Long will be back after these messages.



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