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Eh, Doug-ie!

Andrew Long - March 27 '04- 0:41 Eastern Standard Time

IT'S NO SMALL SECRET, AT LEAST IT WOULDN'T BE if I hadn't been keeping it locked in this little box I keep on my dresser labelled "small secret" with this adorable picture of a baby tiger gutting a gazelle on it, but it's nevertheless no small secret that I'm at stretches a bitter, bitter man. Nothing has inspired more bitterness within me over the years than the random, illogical, and entirely capricious machinations of my various computers and their assortment of malfunctions. You see, I was always led to believe that computers were developed based upon logic, and circuits which fed on pure, delicious logic, and were generally considered to be above the generally chaotic nature of everything else. Reality has, unfortunately, painted a markedly different picture. It all began back in the day in a little sweatshop in Toronto...

Yes, I was quite the stupid kid, and my first computer didn't disappoint, largely because the guy who sold it to us scraped it off a highway somewhere and used squirrel guts for semiconductors. The case was dented, featured a "vedio card" port, 3.8 MB of RAM, and one of those keen turbo switch dealies, which would have been nice if the processor had actually been the listed speed, which naturally it wasn't. Lest you think this was some sort of throwaway prize, I worked in sweatshops for that computer, hauling fat women's clothing to and fro in a dusty warehouse for $6.75 hourly, which in American came out to a handful of rusty buttons in those days, as was the style at the time

Anyhow, my mother threw caution to the wind and didn't let someone who knew anything about computers buy the damned thing, opting instead to hand the selection duties off to the dubious IT guy at her pyramid scheme workplace (which sold the fatbag stirrups, which were naturally backordered 95% of the time, since no reputable pyramid scheme actually has a sound business model). This guy, whose biggest accomplishment was outscoring his lame son at Jezzball (on MY computer, mind you) ended up sending us to this delightful clip joint in Scarborough where we were overcharged into buying the aforementioned crate of death. For further sake of reference, Scarborough is one of those places that scares suburban soccer moms to death, prompting them to throw on the FF7 boss theme and instruct their kids to roll up the windows. It's also where the sweatshop was.

Anyhow, to make a long story short is a saying whose origins are rambling and complicated. Four years later, the first computer reduced to a charred husk of bmps and midi files, I upgraded to a PII Celeron 266 and finally got out of the crate. Why do I bring this up? No reason, the mystifying failure of Final Fantasy XI to display onscreen after loading just reminded me of it, since for some reason I had to go to the Ctrl Alt Delete screen and hit maximize to see it, instead of the actual tab. This can only be Enix's fault, because everything is Enix's fault, even if Enix no longer exists. It is also the fault of a certain Saresh ___, the seller of my first and faultiest computer, for being instrumental in my mother's conviction that sneezing in the general vicinity of Korea can harm a computer half a world away. My mother has nothing to do with this particular failure either, but I like tying up all the loose ends, like what else is on my Small Secret box.

It's a secret, of course!



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I think my computer figured out
That I was mocking computerkind
For now my spacebar is jammed
And clicking
Into the sunset

Patches have feelings too

::Does a merry jig on the computer screen <<(^^)<< >>(^^)>> <<(^^)<< >>(^^)>> ::

Hey, Castronomo, bet you're feeling better now!

So, you're hopelessly addicted to FFXI. Let me tell you, mon frere, there is hope. The brand new Nicogame patch has been approved by the FDA, helping you to fight your cravings for MMORPGs. Also available is one for stalkers of MMORPG players ::smiles in Shroudie's general direction:: Feel better soon.

Pssh... now why would they take a perfectly good stolen kidney from me only to create an antidote for my stalking? If I have to sit in this icy bathtub, they damned well better get good money for that.

Wait, it's not April 1st yet... then what was that Zelda blurb on the front page? That was almost certantly a cruel prank. I mean, the whole "get connected" thing was bad enough with Crystal Chronicles, but... yeah, it was a prank, I'm sure of it.

No, it's horribly genuine, just like all our news is, was, and shall be on April 1. Seriously! Sorry if I sounded sarcastic...

Well, I suppose I should ask you an FAQ-like question.... um, here goes....

Why the heck do most FAQs start with controler setup, anyhow? I mean, the first few pages are usually things that can be answered by reading the instruction booklet. Know what I mean?

Randomness is fun! YAAAAAYYY!!!

I guess FAQ writers opt on the theory that since Paul McCartney is unlikely to pen a good song (...about them) anytime soon, they'd better make sure people pay as much attention to their painstaking ASCII art as possible. What better way to showcase this useless talent than a controller setup? Oh, right... the giant and utterly unnecessary logos.

Otterland dares to make like my friend Glenn and call me "Long"

Hey, Long,

Doesn’t it irk you a little that in RPGs with a Run option, running doesn’t always work in regular battles?

-Jeremy, the Duke of Otterland

No, but it's my number one fear! Sign me up for your omni-goggles, my good man!

A deadly multiparter... of death!

This is just too great an opportunity to pass up. Never mind the fact that before I ask you a question, I'll have to ask myself what question to ask you. Let's see...what shall I ask, then? Okay, here we go.
1) What, exactly, is "zazz?"

Zazz, sadly, is an invention of the Simpsons, like roughly 95% of my obscure parlance. "Obscure parlance", for example, comes from this crazy episode where Sideshow Bob steps on a rake. Now that's funny!

2) For awhile now my interest in console RPG's has been waning. I've been more into pencil-and-paper RPG's, I think because of the greater freedom of action. But what do you think of console RPG's in comparison to pencil-and-paper? It seems like challenge might be one good reason to pick up a console RPG--I mean, there's no GM to save your bacon if you don't fight smart in a CRPG. But then again, there's not much variety in CRPG battle systems these days, y'know? A few details are different, but all it takes to be fairly good at RPG's is a little experience with them.

I will forever love console RPGs, while simultaneously enjoying a good pen and paper RPG (or at least, I would in theory if I ever hung around anyone into that sort of thing, which used to be the case until all my friends bailed on p&p RPGs sometime around grade 10.) As to the lack of variety in CRPG battle systems, I wouldn't necessarily say that; they've just taken the gruntwork out of the equation, and now that the Final Fantasy series has become pretty much the benchmark for battle systems at any given time, the variations are less involved with subtly ripping off TSR or Wizards of the Coast or whoever it is that owns the rights to D& D at the moment, and more to do with not-so-subtly ripping off Square Enix, which is already a time-honoured tradition after only a decade or so of CRPGs being around. Even so, not everyone's into ATB - if you're really jonesing for that pen and paper feel, you can just play KotOR, or any Bioware offering, for that matter. I honestly don't see how it offers any greater variety; it's just a different way of doing things, and the difference in variety in pen and paper generally comes from people who just can't do without their bartending, rodent-breeding, karate-master kender. Not that I would know anything about that.

3) Have you picked up Fire Emblem for the GBA? And if so, what do you think of it? (It's practically the only RPG I've been playing since this summer, besides some 5 hours of Xenosaga.)

I have, in a manner of speaking, but to be honest I wasn't a big fan of what I saw, probably because I only played it for five minutes or so.

4) How about some hypothetical-type opinion questions. If you had your own RPG-style special attack, what would it be called? Would it deal 9,999 damage?

Damn right it'd deal 9999. No overdrive silliness for me, and 999 is just plain wrong. As to its name? Solely to spite Scar, Expos Nightcap.

5) So then let's say that you and your special attack are dropped into the game world of your choosing, in which you must live for the rest of your life. Which world would that be?

Iunno...But Scar would have to come too, just so he could go "Jet-son!!!!" every time I used the attack. I guess that means I'd have to be transported into the world of the Jetsons. And now, to mix up the game show metaphors...beam me up Scotty!

Man. And no unfit-for-print I-could-look-it-up-in-an-FAQ-in-like-two-seconds questions! I guess that kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
-Jackson Ferrell

Yes. Yes it does.

Okay, since you are giving away free FAQ answers
, and I am, in fact, lazy, I do have a question. In Final Fantasy Tactics for PSX, when you're fighting that Worker 7 New, how do you get on top of those pillars to get the sweet, sweet items located there? And whats the best kind of pizza?

Not Adam, dear Quark...Magic...EMPEROR...ADAM!!!

To do this, you'll need a huge monster in your party, which you then need to use as a vaulting horse. For added irony, try using a centuar. If none are available, scold yourself for being so punnish and then hope you have adequate jump points (you'll need four) in order to scale your three-height monster, and then the one extra height to the pillar's top.


I wonder if you have any clue about if there is going to be another Breath of Fire game, like on PS2 following the story-line of BoF5 Dragon Quarter or something like that?

Will there be another BoF? Will there be another BoF? Let me tell you a little something about Capcom. Wherever there's a buck or two to be shamelessly drained from a brand name, they'll be there. Wherever there isn't a second Turbo Super Champion Limited Edition, they'll be there. Wherever nacho penetration is less than total, THEY'LL BE THERE. So yes, Breath of Fire VI is only a matter of time, although I'd think if it was set in Shelter, they'dve announced it already. But I can't confirm any of that, so don't go spreading rumours. Except the part about nachos, because the world deserves to know.

Hey, Andrew

Who would win in a fight Storm or Wolverine?
The Batman

Well, that all depends on how well Wolverine conducts electricity, although there is the incidental matter of this FAQ which states in no uncertain terms that there is in fact a hidden romance between the two, as I certainly hope for the sake of the internet is elucidated in this steamy fanfic "base". Enjoy!


I wonder if a fanfic base is like a soup base...I guess that's one question no FAQ can answer. Fantastically, it seems there were others to take care of the rest of these questions, so now I feel all self-satisfied and helpful. So helpful, in fact, that I'm extending my moratorium on whining until next week! That's right, send em while you can, because I'm bound to get cranky eventually! But seriously, I do this out of love. Love and pudding.
Andrew Long will fight you, and Andrew Long will defeat you.




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