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ASK ANDREW
Gratifying Guest March 11th, 2005

Andrew Long - 19:16 EST

ON THE MATTER OF TODAY'S TOPIC, I have saved my very favorite out-of-touch story for this intro, although I have probably mentioned it before. The year was 2000, and my friend had borrowed disc one of FFVII from me and was returning it. We both worked at the same place, so we tossed it in a desk drawer. In retrospect, putting it in a locker would have made more sense, but you have to remember, these were the days when I would randomly leave thousands of dollars lying on tables instead of putting the money in the safe, so to put it bluntly, I wasn't the most sensible lad around.

Anyhow, the evening ends, and of course I forget to take it home, and the following morning, the accounts lady, whose desk we used as our stowaway zone, finds it and throws it into the inbox on my boss's desk, I guess cuz she had no idea why it was there (though I'm sure she blamed it on me, as was the style at the time, and as you can see, a reasonable course of action.) On the downside, the area supervisor happened by that day, and apparently, he's never heard of FFVII, because when he wandered into my boss's office, he took one look at it, picked it up, and said "Why do you have pornography on your desk?"

So yeah. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.



Ramblebox
-

-AL  


L E T T E R S
Arrrr


Is SH3 coming out in North America? ~ Zack

ANDREW


Oh, you'll squish real good...


Ambiguous point?


Atari did singlehandedly kill all those fine videogame arcades that my older brother used to sell weed at.
-Drinkslinger

ANDREW

I miss my quickies ;_;



Learning to read the hard way


The year was 1998. I was 16 years old (derive from that what you will) and in karate class one Saturday morning talking with a classmate who had just gotten FF7.

Me: And you can breed Cho-cho-bos?
Him: WHA?
Me: Cho-cho-bo! Cho-cho-bo!
Him: You mean Cho-co-bo.
Me: You mean Iíve been saying it wrong all this time? (Note: ďall this timeĒ is about 2 years or so.)
I still say Cho-cho-bo sometimes.
--Bucket


ANDREW

Don't feel too bad; my friends and I used to call them Chocobobos, so you're not alone in your mangling of imaginary language. I must say that I rarely use my old term anymore though (except, of course, when it smells like chocobos, in which case nostalgia compels me to say that aloud.)



More tales from the crypt


Hey Andrew,

I could write a BOOK on the hilarity I have encountered when dealing with non- gamer types. Here are a few of my favorite stories...

You would think that a lot of people who like anime also tend to like (or at least know a bit about) videogames, especially those coming from the other side of the ocean. And yet, somehow, I still here announcers at anime convention masquerades (a showcase of fan skits done in costume) read the title of Final Fantasy X as "Final Fantasy Ex." I can understand "Final Fantasy Ex-Two" because NOBODY knows what the proper way to say that is, but when we go Final Fantasy Seven, Final Fantasy Eight, Final Fantasy Nine, and the next title in the series is Final Fantasy X, maybe, just maybe, you should assume that X means Ten and not "ex." Now if these people consistently pronounced the Roman numerals as words, you might be able to understand it (even though "Final Fantasy Viii" sounds dumb). But the same announcers will sometimes say something to the effect of "Here is a skit featuring characters from Final Fantasy Seven, Final Fantasy Eight, and Final Fantasy X." I actually heard someone shout "dumbass" from the audience when that happened.

This next story is even funnier. I work in an office building, and other people regularly come to my office for various reasons. Now most people use their wall space for family pictures, posters of pretty flowers, and other things like that. While I do have some family pictures, most of my wall space goes to fan art I've collected over the years (about 50% anime, 50% videogame). Many of my co-workers recognize at least one piece hanging on my wall and are able to derive that the rest of it must be from anime or videogames. Occasionally, however, I'll get a visitor to my office who has obviously never heard of either. Some of the best things I've heard from these people:

(pointing to a work featuring KOS-MOS, Yuna, Chii from Chobits, etc.) "Is that your girlfriend/wife?"

(pointing works featuring MOMO, Jr., Cardcaptor Sakura, Young Link with sword, etc.) "Are those your children?"

(pointing to any one of the blue-haired girls on the wall) "I dyed my hair that color once during the '60s."

And finally, this one happened just a few months ago. My car was in a collision repair shop following a fender-bender, though the damage was significant enough that it needed to stay there for a few days. On day two, I realized I needed something I had left in the car, so I took a quick walk up to the shop. As I approached the shop, I heard some music that sounded very familiar. As soon as I reached the garage area, I realized why that was so. The repair crew (about five or six of them) had turned on my car's CD player and were listening to The Black Mages (you know, Nobuo Uematsu's FF rock band). None of them knew what the music was from, but they all really liked it. I told them they could put it in the stereo they had set up, and I think they took a little longer working on my car just so they could keep listening to it! (And yes, I got the CD back in perfect condition.)

So while non-gamers can sometimes prove frustrating, more often that not I've found that the results of mixing non-gamers with gaming culture is usually entertaining at the least.

Nick "kweee" Ferris


ANDREW

Wow. Thanks for sharing, and make sure you bust your transmission once you get the second Black Mages album, if you haven't already. Subverting mechanics should be everyone's goal!



Eerily similar...


I asked Blockbuster for Final Fantasy, and they said "Sorry, we don't carry adult titles."
-Jim

ANDREW

Now that's uncanny!



Multificompute


Hey there Castomel

In regards to the people botching a name, I and my girlfriend had a great ammount of rage at some dufus on G4TV's Cheat pronouncing Tidus(Which I say as Teedus like Wakka does in KH) as Tiedus, hell he even got Kimahri wrong and they pronounce that one in FFX, moral of the story horrid non-Anime tv is not worth wading through for a new to me anime series
ANDREW

Call me crazy, but I call him Tie-dus too. Yes, I know the Japanese pronunciation approximates to "Tee-da", but I don't go around calling Aeris Aerith like any number of asshats I could name (you know who you are) and I'm sure not gonna start with that dope. Besides, in the whole of FFX, as you have more or less hinted at, nobody actually says his name, so it can be bloody well anything I please.

In regards to SH3/Koudelka 4, I think they are rushing things a wee bit but oh well it's probably still 1-1 1/2 years or so before it reaches here so hopefully by then I'll have finished SH1 and SH2

In regards to the bishi boys things, not all the male characters in Wild Arms look manly, look at Tim from 2... and Shane or whatever his name was from 3, who I thought was a cute Indian girl but in fact was a whiney Indian boy... yeah...
ANDREW

I have no idea what you're talking about, but I would put a lot of series before WA in the bishiness department... Like Shadow Hearts, for instance...

Also why is Square releasing one of the crappiest most useless mini-games on cell phones?? Hell they didn't even clean up the graphics... lasy bastards
ANDREW

Hey, give credit where credit is due... It's Square Enix doing it, and the reasoning should be obvious... They love money, and FFVII is the fastest way to generate it that I can think of.

And lastly some kind of question

Aside from the rule of is it here yet I uh really can't think of anything so uh um... when is SH3 coming out and when it does do you think the hero will sound like a stereotypical movie private eye? As in a ditsy dame walked into my office she was being plagued by demons, I told her I'd get to the bottom of it but only if she paid me with flonase or something I dunno just glanced over that story and saw the main character was a PI in the 30s and that apparently his co star is Shania... she feels like a woman I guess I dunno
ANDREW

I dunno what details you were looking at... The main character is, in fact, 16, and he looks about as bishy as they come. That would probably explain his association with someone named Shania, at any rate.. And may I just say, that if ever somebody sends a Shania Twain joke to this column again or in any way mentions her name, that person will be destroyed, blacklisted, killed, murdered, and then destroyed again. We do NOT speak that name here. I hate her like pestilence.

So in the place of that, do you think Square will finally give the us the prequel to FF7 instead of some snowboarding mini-game that was in no way improved after 8 years? I personally think it(FF7BC) will suck but I want to see if it is a plesant surprise or not

Arros Raikou

Really needs to read the entire article instead of glancing...


ANDREW

Yeah... BC is currently being doled out on Japanese cellphones, so unless Yahoo somehow gets its hands on the rights, I doubt you'll see anything similar hereabouts for a fairly long time (unless, of course, Square's line of convenience stores set up shop here.)



Arr


I am responding to your response:

"For now, there has been one confirmed for the week of E3 in San Francisco."

Actually the concert was Monday March 7 (I was there) and it too was sold out.


ANDREW

I cover myself with shame. I glanced over an article on that concert, and I somehow misread it, since I believe the writer suggested another E3 concert is in the offing, while mentioning the SF concert in the same breath. My apologies for the error, and far be it for me to deny the existence of a concert you attended.



Good old House


I just happened to catch a show recently where a video game was being portrayed incorrectly on the Fox program, House. House was playing Metroid: Zero Mission. He rolled Samus into a Morph Ball and handed the GBA to someone else like he died. I found it particularly hard to get every item in that game. So my question is: How often do you feel the need to get every item in a game? What was the toughest game to get every piece of armor, weapon, etc.?

iehley


ANDREW

Ah, House. I saw that episode, and while they superimposed some pretty ridiculous sound effects, I think he was more handing it to her cuz she was interrupting him than anything. And... The hardest game to get everything in? To be honest, I never really have, so I couldn't say, though I do periodically try.



More out-of-touch goodness


Andrew, Here's one of my most memorable "out-of-touch-with-gaming" people moments: shortly after the release of Final Fantasy VII I saw one of those "are games warping our kids' minds?" news reports. I can't remember if it was national or local, but anyway the reporter showed us a nice short clip of the summon Hades and then went on to explain that the theme of Final Fantasy VII is devil worship and that the game teaches children witchcraft.

I've also got a question for you. I've been trying to find out names for the development team on Final Fantasy XII, and so far I've only got Yasumi Matsuna and the few other names mentioned on the official website. I'm curious what portion of the staff is new and and how many are returning from previous FF games. Is there any way I can find this out in advance, or do I need to wait until I can look at the credits in the instruction booklet?

Many thanks.


ANDREW

IMDB has a listing of people who worked on various games, but all it really shows for FFVII was the director and the writers, which I guess makes sense given that it's a movie-oriented site. I've wanted to institute something like that at this site for a long time, but to be honest, I've never really been able to figure out a feasible way to do it without omissions or errors, so I guess you're best off looking around for that manual.



Semantics time!


Dear Andrew:

Romaji, not romanji. And no, it's not entirely phonetic. The 'u' vowel, for example is pronounced differently from the typical English pronunciation.

Also, I was just wondering... any idea when Shadow Hearts 3 will be coming out in English?

~ketsugi


ANDREW

First, I generally avoid arguing the validity of a term based upon its usage, but in this case, I think I will. Romaji is admittedly the "proper" term, but romanji, though not as widely used, is nonetheless an accepted variant on the term. In any event, you are correct in your second point; I was oversimplifying. I would say, however, that what I meant was that it is phonetic to the extent that a talking head should be able to stumble through it and achieve if not a correct pronunciation, then something close to it.

Secondly, die.



Unfit for Print


Your hatred of Sony just completely confounds me. I may not like Xbox, but at least I'll admit they have the online thing down better. I may not own Gamecube, but the 3 must have titles that come out are always top notch and probably in the top 10 games of each year every time.

But to say the PS2 does nothing for RPG's or games in general is just rediculous. The developers have put the thing to some great use.

What about Darkcloud 2? That game had some pretty fun implementation that I haven't seen since. Suikoden 3? Old school done in a good style. Disgea helped bring back a recent influx of tactical RPG's. Xenosaga Series, maybe its not for everyone, but its certainly not the same old thing redone. .Hack series was a very solid series, the first Single Player MMORPG. A little silly to say, but differant none-the-less. Shadow Heart series is good also. Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Grandia Extreme, I didn't care for either, but I could certainly understand the people that love their style. I could go on and on, where as I would've had to stop with Gamecube or Xbox. And that's just RPG's.
ANDREW

I didn't say that the PS2 hasn't seen some good games, I said that Sony itself has done little or nothing to contribute to the innovation of gaming, and I stand by that remark. Since the PSX days when it was more active in encouraging developers like Square and others to push the envelope early on in order to establish itself, it really hasn't done very much in order to ensure that domination. Its hard disk fizzled, its connectivity is limited at best, and as far as the hardware goes, its potential is much lower than either of its competitors. Suikoden III? Mediocre, by all accounts. Same goes for .Hack and Grandia Extreme, and while I will be the first to agree that BoF V is a very good game and Xenosaga a very long one, I just don't think that Sony deserves the reputation it has. I'm not really saying that Xbox has done a particularly better job, but of the few RPGs that have appeared on it, the majority have tried to do something different than the classic RPG formula, which to me says they're striving to innovate in an effort to draw users, something I rarely see from Sony.

And I don't know anyone's PS2 that has stopped working. I know 2 gamecubes that the 3rd and 4th controller ports have stopped working though. Does it mean Gamecube games suck? Nope, the 2 or 3 worth playing a year are wonderful.
ANDREW

Lucky you, then. I know any number of people whose PS2's have stopped functioning. My friend at work, my roommate, a couple people at RPGamer(Zach's PS2 is "as loud as a Dreamcast now" and won't read DVDs unless he's browsing the memory cards), heck, even my own no longer properly plays PSX games. Look, if it was just controller ports I would have no trouble not generalizing, but it is clear to me that the PS2 problem is widespread and to deny it just because you enjoy suckling at Sony's withered teat is kind of silly, but admittedly, entirely up to you.

You complain about people blindly hating Microsoft just because its Microsoft, then why are you so blindly hating Sony? Obviously its blinding for you, because you make rediculous blanket statements. Where in the world do you get your RPG fixes? If not the PS2, the only system I can see as a haven for RPG'ers is the GBA. You remind me of those Nintendo Diehards that bring up Quest 64 every time someone says how Nintendo doesn't have RPG's.


ANDREW

And you remind me of those very same diehards, because you're accusing me of blind hatred without stopping to consider the fact that I have offered very concrete reasons for why I consider Sony to be contemptible. Snuggle up to your PS2 for all I care, but I really, really hope that Microsoft knocks Sony off its perch, or failing that, that Sony at least gives developers some incentive to stop making mediocre games, because in the end, I own all three systems so it really makes no difference to me who wins as long as that company makes more games worth playing than are currently enjoyable.





C L O S I N G
IN CONCLUSION:

Hmph. I can't really think of anything pertinent to talk about at this point, so tomorrow will be an open-topic day. Of course, further stories of out-of-touch goodness are still welcome, but beyond that, the floor is open!

castomel@rpgamer.com
Sadly, no trace of Andrew Long was ever found.


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